Utah is a beautiful state, the home of Zion National Park, the Mormon Tabernacle and its choir and the Osmond Brothers. But besides these wonders, there are places that are just the tiniest bit off the beaten path. Indeed, they may be more than the tiniest bit off the beaten path. Here are five of them:
1. The Voodoo Caves
The Voodoo Caves are not really caves but a drain pipe found in the Beaver Dam Mountains. According to urban legend, questionable people enter this pipe and perform acts of black magic. This leaves behind dark energies that those who come in after them. Some believe that if a person who enters the pipe reviles the devil or the demonic entity who lives there, they’ll be overcome by mysteriously rising water and drown. This allegedly happened to a worker who entered the pipe one day to clean it out.
2. Escalante Petrified Forest
This beautiful state park is found about 311 miles south of Salt Lake City. The local legend claims that if a person takes any petrified wood out of this forest, they will fall under a curse. It does seem that people who manage to smuggle a splinter out of this forest do sometimes fall prey to a spate of bad luck. Lots of people have mailed back their pilfered petrified wood with letters of apology in hopes that the curse will be lifted.
3. Skinwalker Ranch
Utah is also home to the Skinwalker Ranch, a famous place, beloved by paranormal investigators. Officially named the Sherman Ranch, it is found in Ballard. It’s on the edge of the Ute Indian Reservation and is famous for mutilated cattle, UFOs, and red-eyed beasts that resemble the human/animal monsters Native Americans call skinwalkers. The ranch is also allegedly haunted by a shaman, a little girl, and vortices of inexplicable black clouds and weird electromagnetic storms.
4. Pando, the Trembling Giant
Pando, the Trembling Giant, is not what you think it is! Unlike the other mysteries described here, it is neither creepy nor evil. It is, indeed, beautiful and good. It looks like a forest of individual quaking aspens. But all of these trees, whose leaves turn brilliant yellow in the fall are part of one organism. According to scientists, Pando covers 107 acres, weighs over 6600 tons and is over a million years old.
5. The Devil’s Highway
The original name of this road was Route 666, which gives a person a hint as to why it was changed. It runs through the place where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet, which is called the Four Corners. This can be thought of as a sort of double crossroads, which is worrisome. People have seen skinwalkers, hellhounds, spectral hitchhikers, a shaman who crawls into the backseat of cars and steals people’s souls and a careening, fiery Mac truck that seems to be heading right for the car and driver.
Like every other state in the West, Utah has more than its share of unexplained places. Some of these places are a draw for ghost hunters, but they shouldn’t dissuade other folks from visiting and enjoying this magnificent state. Aside from these locations, Utah is home to plenty other picturesque and amazing activities, so if you’re ever considering visiting any of these strange places, know that there are plenty other things to do, from skiing to hiking to boating.